Learning Twitter can be overwhelming. But, as with any task, breaking it down into smaller parts helps considerably. This is lesson six of a ten-part series.

In this short video I cover why you should follow people back. Check them out, follow, list. That’s the simple plan.

When I recorded this video, Twitter’s buttons were different. Now the way you add people to a list is with the three dots. Here is a screenshot.

Following people back is the way to be social and to grow your account organically.

Following people back is the way to be social and to grow your account organically.

Why Follow Back? Answer: Following Ratios

It sucks when you don’t realize you can only follow 2000 people and then you hit a following wall, literally. You can’t follow anyone else unless more people follow you. If you followed no one back and are following 2000, you’ve got a lot of work to do, my friend, both to follow and unfollow. If you want to grow, you have to maintain the following to follower ratio.

There are additional glass ceilings that you hit, I (as @gidgey) hit another one at 5,000 and again 9,000. When I was doing @RigginsConst, I found them at 14,000 and 19,000 also.  It seems to me that the sweet spot is about 1:1 but Twitter says it depends on the individual account.

This is why I had to start unfollowing people who don’t follow back.  I really like who.unfollowed.me for this.

This is why I follow people back. The few exceptions are porn, how to get more users people, how to make money on the internet people, #TeamFollowBack (spammy, in my opinion), and eggs.

Like your cholesterol’s HDL versus LDL ratio, it’s important to shoot for a “good ratio.”  Carol Stephen

Only verfied accounts get to be non-follow-back-ers. This behavior can be viewed as arrogant, so proceed with caution. Remember, it’s called social media for a reason.

As Twitter says,

Once you’ve followed 2000 users, there are limits to the number of additional users you can follow: this limit is different for every user and is based on your ratio of followers to following.

  • More Info: Twitter Help Center: FAQ about Following
  • Find someone to follow and follow them.  Do this at least five times.  Look at their list of followers, are any of them interesting to you?
  • Make lists: news, friends, whatever.  When you follow someone, put them on your list.  Read Carol Stephen’s post on why lists are useful:  “Twitter Lists for the Power User “and my post “Organizing Your Twitter Stream – Use Lists.”
  • Make it a regular habit (daily at least) to check your twitter account, thank those who have mentioned you, and follow back within reason.

And don’t forget to have fun.

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